The Entrepreneur’s Source Reviews 3 Reasons Women Succeed as Business Owners
“Women have an innate ability to empower others—their staff, their employees, their co-workers and in many cases, their customers.”– Judy Stoleson, Entrepreneur’s Source Coach and Co-Founder of Women Empowered by Business
Women-owned businesses are thriving—findings from the Spring 2014 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report show nearly 70 percent of women business owners expect sales to grow this year, and 56 percent plan to hire in 2014.
Judy Stoleson, successful Entrepreneur’s Source Coach and cofounder of Women Empowered by Business (WEBB)– a nationwide organization whose mission is to promote successful entrepreneurship among women– recently visited Franchise Friday to discuss women in business, particularly in franchising and shared her insight on how women can become empowered through business ownership.
Below are three key traits Judy feels fuel women in business: communication, initiative and emotional intelligence.
Effective Communication. Carefully thinking before speaking and strategically choosing what and how to communicate specific information is vital to running a successful business. Studies have found that women actually use fewer words and have a better command of the English language than men.
However, an important part of effectively communicating is not only speaking efficiently, but listening as well. Women have the ability to both listen to customers and clearly communicate with employees what needs to be done.
Initiative. A recent Forbes article cited research by Zenger Folkman stating, “Two of the traits where women outscored men to the highest degree — taking initiative and driving for results — have long been thought of as particularly male strengths.”
Many women are willing to take the initiative toward improving their income, lifestyle, wealth and equity through business ownership, and are often rewarded for their sacrifice. Reports found one-third of women actually spend more time with their kids as a result of running their own businesses.
This could be attributed to the fact that women (and men) business owners both reported “multitasking” as their number one skill. Even further, a recent study found women are actually better at multitasking, even with conflicting tasks, than men.
Emotional Intelligence. Women often possess the innate ability to sense a person’s feelings, and coupled with their strong listening skills, this emotional intelligence gives them a competitive advantage over men when running a business.
Another principle of leadership women possess is the ability to inspire. They can listen to someone else’s ideas and collaborate to make people feel like a team. It’s not across the board, but many times, collaboration comes naturally to women and helps to increase the intelligence of the entire group.
Several studies have cited that women in leadership positions deliver a higher return on sale, a higher return on invested capital and a higher return on equity. As companies start to realize this, whether a franchise company or a Fortune 500, I believe women will continue breaking through the obstacles.
I’m careful not to say that women business owners are always better, stronger or more equipped than men, but instead recognize that women have unique leadership principles weighted in their favor.
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